WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, one of the team's captains, sat down with ESPNBoston.com recently to discuss a variety of topics.
What has your daily routine been like?
“Just working out with the guys. After workouts, the rest of the day is free, so I’m spending time with the family, watching my daughter [Chya] grow up and having a good time. I wake up at 8 o’clock, eat breakfast, work out at 9 o’clock, get home at 1, and the rest of the day is with the family.”
What do you miss with not being in the offseason program?
“Just the organized activities, you miss being with those younger guys, but at the same time we’re still in communication trying to get better each and every day without the coaches.”
How did you prepare for this?
“We kind of knew it was coming, kind of anticipated it, but I got as many DVDs and stuff that I could get before the lockout happened, so I’m still watching film, still doing my thing, and preparing like we’re going to have a full season.”
How much responsibility do you feel to keep everyone together because you're a captain?
“I don’t think it’s more responsibility, but at the same time, you have to keep everyone accountable. I know Vince [Wilfork] is calling guys, and I know Tom [Brady] is e-mailing guys and calling guys. Everybody is holding each other accountable. Right now, it’s what team can beat the lockout. It’s kind of 'you against the lockout.'"
For you personally, what steps would you like to take in 2011?
“Just continuing learning the defense, making more adjustments on the fly, just the overall communication between the young guys and some of the older guys. We have a young defense, and we’re all trying to learn. I think that’s the one thing with the lockout, it kind of hinders you from doing the things you need to do at OTAs [organized team activities] and the minicamps and things like that. At the same time, I’m staying in communication, making sure guys are learning the defense still, and hopefully we’ll be ready to go.”
How can this defense get better?
“We lived off turnovers last year. We can’t give up as many yards as we did last year. We have the talent. For me personally, it’s me getting everybody in the right position every play. There can’t be that one play or things like that. We have to be more consistent.”
We hear a lot about the first-to-second year jump. How will that affect players like Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham and others?
“I think it will affect them as much as they let it affect them. They have the film, they have the equipment to get things done, and I know those guys are taking it serious trying to make that second-year leap.”
Thoughts on the draft?
“To be honest, the draft surprises me every year, Coach Belichick’s picks and things like that. I’m not expecting anything. I’ll probably be at Vince Wilfork’s draft day celebration and it will be a good time out there.”
Your memories of the draft?
"Being out in the yard, raking leaves with my mom. Luckily I was able to go pretty early [10th overall] and had a good day.”
What should the Patriots pick?
“I’m going to leave that one alone. [laughing]”
How big of an adjustment will it be with Patrick Graham coaching the linebackers?
“He’s a good guy, it won’t be a big adjustment. He kind of helped out with the linebackers last year. He knows what he’s doing and you know that Coach Belichick will still be in the room.”
And longtime linebackers coach Matt Patricia moving to safeties coach?
“That’s a huge loss, but I’m sure I’ll still be meeting with him sometimes in the morning when we get back to work. He’s a good guy, knows the defense, smart. It’s a huge loss for us, but at the same time, I think we have guys in the linebacker room willing to work.”